Chicago school activists get trained in civil disobedience tactics

Mar 15, 2013 by

Chicago Public Schools officials are considering closing as many as 129 public schools said to be under-enrolled — and activists are gearing up for a fight.

The Chicago Teachers Union is co-sponsoring “Citywide Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Trainings” to teach parents, teachers and others protest techniques, including disruptions, occupations and arrests, according to a union press release. The trainings, the release said, are going to be led by political activist and scholar Lisa Fithian, who for decades has been a student, labor and community organizer on a range of issues. Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey will participate in one of the training sessions, which is also being sponsored by the Grassroots Education Movement, a group of community-based organizations from across the city.

Over the last decade some 70 cities have closed public schools, some because they are under-enrolled and others because they are said to be academically failing and more mass closings are on the way. Washington, D.C. officials are planning to close 15 schools, and New York City, which closed more than 140 schools since 2002, recently announced plans to shut 17 more beginning next year.

Last week, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted to close down 23 — down from an original list of nearly 40 — and protesters, including American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, got arrested at the meeting where the decision was made.

via Chicago school activists get trained in civil disobedience tactics.

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